Johnson & Johnson stopped production on their single-shot Covid vaccine according to reports on Tuesday.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is called the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. It’s made by Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and it happens to be the vaccine of choice for poorer countries.
The plant in the Netherlands is expected to resume production sometime in March according to the New York Times report. It’s unclear at this time if the shutdown that occurred late last year has had any kind of impact on the availability of their vaccine. Johnson & Johnson claims to have a few hundred million doses in supply to get them through until production starts up again.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson did not confirm or deny the Times report in a statement shared with Insider.
“Our manufacturing sites produce multiple products as we have an obligation to supply life changing medicines to patients around the world and bring forward our innovative pipeline of new medicines and vaccines,” the spokesperson said.
They added: “We manage our production planning accordingly and are currently supplying from our extensive global network based on the demand for our vaccine and the needs of our patients and customers.”
Over the past few months, J&J has in fact fallen behind on deliveries of the single-shot dose to poorer countries.
The facility in the Dutch city of Leiden has instead shifted its efforts to produce an experimental vaccine to treat RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), according to the report.
Dr. Ayoade Alakija, co-head of the African Union’s vaccine delivery program, told the outlet that this is “not the time” to be “switching production lines of anything” as lives of people the world over currently “hang in the balance.”
One reason that the J&J vaccine is so attractive to poorer countries is the fact it does not require subzero storage temperatures.
“In many low- and middle-income countries, our vaccine is the most important and sometimes only option,” Dr. Penny Heaton, a J&J executive, said in December of the vaccine. “The world is depending on us.”
Dr. Seth Berkley at Covax said he is disappointed in the company’s move. “We really needed their doses in 2021, and we were counting on them,” Berkley said. “They didn’t deliver. So we had to find other doses to meet the countries’ needs.”
While J&J halts their production we did see that Project Salus report that came out not long ago. The government-funded Project Salus data showed that the effectiveness of both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines significantly waned over time. Attorneys Tom Rens and Leigh Dundas discussed how the Department of Defense covered up the massive increases in miscarriages, cancer, neurological damage, and hiding data that was collected. That data showed 71% of new Covid cases and 61% of hospitalizations are fully vaccinated patients.